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How to Hit the Curve Ball
For Those Facing the Breaking Ball for the First Time
With a few seasons under your belt already, this may be the first time you're going to encounter a curse that has haunted hitters for generations.
Some call it the Bender. Others refer to it as the Hook. Yes, we're talking about the age-old curse known as Hitting The Curveball.
Here are some tips to help you overcome it.
The first part of overcoming the dreaded curse of the curveball is not done with your hands, but with your eyes.
You're at a stage of your development now where it's becoming more and more important to not just guess what the pitcher's going to throw, but to see and recognize it as early as possible, even as it's coming out of his hand.
And for that, you look at what's called the "release point." If the hand is directly behind the ball, that means a fastball is coming. If the fingers are over the front of the ball, that's a change-up.
But if the fingers are off to the side, that means a curveball is on the way.
Now, let's talk about your hands. Even though a curveball is different from a change-up, it does share one similarity in that they're both slower than the fastball.
Just remember that even when you're fooled by the pitch, if you keep your hands back you'll still have the ability to hit the ball hard. But move your hands forward with the rest of your body and you've got nothing left with which to hit the ball.
Another mistake lots of hitters make is to try to pull the curveball, just because it's slower than a fastball. Focus on hitting it right back up the middle and if you do, chances are you may pull the ball down the line for an extra base hit, anyway.
But once they get ahead in the count, the odds are much better they'll try to get you out with something else. Which is another way of suggesting that you look for the first fastball you can hit hard somewhere, before the pitcher has you at his mercy.
Think about these tips the next time you come to bat, and use them as your own personal shield, to defy the dreaded curse of Hitting The Curveball.
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